How do I get a hearing aid?
If you suspect you have a hearing loss, it is best to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist at an early stage. He or she will perform a hearing test, determine the cause and degree of your hearing loss, and determine whether your ears are suitable for hearing aids. If a hearing loss is found, you will receive a hearing aid prescription from the doctor.
Why is the hearing aid prescription necessary?
The hearing aid prescription is more or less like a doctor's prescription and entitles you to receive a co-payment for your hearing aids from the health insurance company. The proof of a medical necessity of the devices is a basic requirement for cost coverage. A prescription is not yet required for the free hearing test, the selection of a hearing aid and a trial wearing, only at the time of the final purchase. Your hearing care professional will take care of the billing with the health insurance company for you. However, you should always check in advance with your health insurance company whether your hearing care professional is listed as a contractual partner. So you avoid surprising complications in the subsidy.
What conditions must exist for a hearing aid prescription?
A prescription for the need for bidirectional hearing aids is subject to the following criteria set forth in the Guidelines of the Joint Federal Committee on the Prescription of Aids in Statutory Health Care
- There must be a hearing loss of at least 30 decibels in the better ear in at least one test frequency between 500 and 4000 hertz.
- The comprehension rate must not exceed 80% speech audiometrically - tested on the better ear and with headphones in the Freiburg one-silver test at 65 decibels.
For a unilateral care must meet the following conditions:
- The hearing loss of the bad ear must be at least 30 decibels in a test frequency between 500 - 4000 hertz.
- The comprehension rate must not exceed 80% speech audiometrically - tested on the worse ear and with headphones in the Freiburg single-silver test at 65 decibels.
Different criteria apply to other types of hearing aids, including bone conduction hearing aids.
Hearing aid prescription validity
As a rule, a hearing aid prescription is only required for the initial fitting. If you receive such a certificate, it is valid for six months, but must be submitted to the health insurance company as early as 28 days after the date of issue. Accordingly, it is important to visit your hearing care professional as soon as possible after the prescription has been issued. This gives you enough time to test the new hearing aids without risking complications with the co-payment.
Every six years, you can claim a renewed subsidy for new hearing aids from your health insurer. For follow-up care, you usually do not need to have a new prescription issued. However, exceptions apply if new hearing aids are purchased before the end of the six-year cycle, for example due to loss. In this case, you should submit a new hearing aid prescription from your ENT physician.